How to Become a Security Officer

It would be interesting to understand how to become a security officer and determine its possibility as a career option. Security officers are not to be confused with police officers although they are both in the business of protecting people and property. While the former is more identified with serving private individuals and companies, the latter serves the public interest.

What is a Security Officer?

Security officers are known by other names such as security agents, security guards, private police, bodyguards, watchmen, armed security, or safety patrol. Although having different names, they provide the same basic services of protecting people, places and things. They are easily identified by their uniform although some security personnel are categorized as “plain-clothes” security personnel who are expected to provide protection services in a somewhat covert manner. These security personnel are usually seen observing the general situation in a particular place and would rarely initiate direct contact with people. They usually do so in the act of preventing the occurrence of a crime such as shoplifting or apprehending the offender.

The main duty of a security officer is the prevention and deterrence of crime. It is also part of a security officer’s duty to operate emergency equipment, arrest and control, as well as provide detailed reports of security lapses and concerns. Controlling access to buildings and gates also form part of the usual duties of a security officer.

Security officers greatly outnumber police officers, manifesting the need of people to feel protected. Many companies are delegating the responsibility of securing digital information to security officers which has resulted to the performance of duties almost similar to computer and digital security professionals.

Education and Training

The minimum educational requirement for security officers is a high school diploma with the ability to read, write, and speak in the English language. High-security needs of some institutions however require security officers to undergo specialized training in security especially those who are armed. Most employers provide their own job training specific to their company.

Special training programs may include retention of weapons, crisis deterrence, first aid, protection, and public relations, among others. An associate’s degree in criminal justice can open up career advancement opportunities. A Bachelor’s
Degree in Organizational Security and Management allows security officers to be considered for management–level positions.

Becoming a Security Officer

Job prospects for the position of security officer are positive because of the high demand among private individuals and companies. The desired career position can be accessed by maintaining a clean record in relation to criminal activity, earning the academic credits required, obtaining license and certification, and going through job-specific training. Continued education specifically in programs relevant to the business nature of the company employer will go a long way in improving capabilities and increasing credentials. It is also necessary to maintain a healthy body to cope up with the demands of the job. When targeting a highly competitive position, a good resume highlighting pertinent work and academic experience is needed. Consider the option of how to become a security officer.